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Title: The association between childhood experiences of parental neglect and antipathy, schemas, adult attachments and positive symptoms of psychosis
Author: Fish, Sarah
ISNI:       0000 0004 2696 1491
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2010
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Background: Childhood experiences of parental neglect and antipathy have been found to associate with positive symptoms of psychosis. Cognitive models (e. g. Garety, Kuipers, Fowler, Freeman, & Bebbington, 2001) propose that negative beliefs of self and others (schemas), which are associated with childhood adversities, influence the development and maintenance of positive symptoms. Similarly, adult attachment patterns are found to associate with childhood parental neglect and relate with positive symptoms. To date, no study has investigated the relationships between parental neglect and antipathy and specific positive symptoms in a sample of individuals with early psychosis in relation to both schemas and adult attachments. The study aimed to investigate if parental neglect and antipathy were associated with specific positive symptoms, and if these relationships were mediated by negative schemas and anxious and avoidant adult attachments. Methods: The study was a cross sectional within-subject design. Participants were a clinical sample of patients from the Central Norfolk Early Intervention Service for first episode psychosis (N = 59). Participants completed self-report questionnaires and semi-structured interviews during routine clinical appointments. Results: Increased negative self and other schema and anxious and avoidant attachment related to parental neglect and antipathy, and levels of depression did not. The findings offered a preliminary indication, that negative schematic beliefs of others may mediate the relationship between parental neglect and antipathy and paranoia, and avoidant attachment may mediate the relationship with anomalous experiences (akin to hallucinations). Conclusions: Findings support previous research and cognitive models, illustrating that negative schemas, and avoidant attachments are key variables in understanding the relationships between early adversities and symptoms in first episode psychosis. The current results were based on a small sample, and need to be replicated in methodologically sound studies to increase the reliability and validity of findings.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available